Take a luxury sedan, add its most powerful V8 engine, add two electric motors, and what do you have? You have the Lexus LS600h, the first full-sized luxury sedan to offer a hybrid powertrain. This is an example of good intentions meeting up with the laws of physics and quite frankly, it didn’t work out too well if the intentions were to offer better fuel economy. Let’s look at the reason why.
The goal at Lexus in 2008 when the LS600h was first introduced was to offer power and fuel economy. By adding two electric motors the V8 essentially became a V12, theoretically the equal of the German competition but offering much better gas mileage. So much for theory! What wasn’t considered was that by adding two electric motors and battery packs the weight was increased by approximately seven hundred pounds, effectively negating any fuel savings that would have been had. To be fair, the mpg in the city actually increased in testing by four miles per gallon, but on the highway it decreased by two, so it is real hard to say that this experiment was a success based on intentions.
Now for the good news: Lexus has always prided itself on producing a serene, quiet, smooth ride and the LS 600h certainly comes through in spades in those categories. The electric motors do the job from 0-20 and it is hard to imagine a quieter car on the road at that time; afterwards the insulation preventing engine noise rivals Jaguar as you are in for one of the quieter rides of your lifetime. The suspension is top-notch and the list of standard features is so long that we simply do not have room to write about them. Suffice to say that in all things others than fuel economy the LS600h is at the top of its game and tough competition for any other full-size luxury sedans on the market.
One other note on the plus side of the ledger: Lexus craftsmanship is second to none in the automotive world and it is very apparent with the LS600h. This is as finely crafted an automobile as you will ever see or drive; it comes at a premium cost but in this case premium cost is warranted. This is truly an exceptional vehicle that just doesn’t quite live up to its one claim of improved fuel economy.
As for aftermarket parts, if you are an owner then be prepared to pay through the nose for them, or you can do what so many smart shoppers are doing and go to a reliable salvage yard when one of these models becomes available. At All Import Auto Parts we are always on the lookout for premium models like the LS600h and when we get one we see that the used auto parts are priced fairly and considerably below market value. It just makes good sense to come down to our Fort Worth salvage yard and shop for recycled auto parts because of the cost factor. Let’s face it: you paid enough for the LS600h so why pay more for replacement parts when salvage parts are so much cheaper?